It’s always a blast getting to photograph friends, especially super close friends.
In October, I got the opportunity to see one of my best friends, Heather, at Jenn and Mark’s wedding! Even BETTER (sorry Heather), I FINALLY got the chance to meet her boyfriend, Mike.
Now, being so close to Heather, you can say I had certain “standards of excellence” that I was expecting out of Mike.
And I must say…he did NOT disappoint :).
Heather and Mike have been together for YEARS. They are both scientists and had met a number of times at conferences across the country and then doing research together in French Polynesia (I know, tough life) for months on end. I should also point out that their budding romance began while Heather was getting her Masters in California and Mike his PhD in Florida. So needless to say, there were some obstacles scattered here and there to their blossoming courtship, but their love endured through several moves across the country (literally from California to Florida and back again) and I was thrilled to finally have the opportunity to spend time with them together.
We passed the morning just hanging out around Williamsburg, and after enjoying Mark and Jenn’s beautiful ceremony, I asked if I could take a few images of their adorable selves on our way to the reception. It didn’t take much to convince them to let me take a few quick shots after the ceremony. And with only about 10 minutes to spare, I was determined to make the most out of every frame :).
And apparently so were they – LOOK at how photogenic and in love the two of them are!!
This one on the right above is one of my absolute favorites…mostly because of knowing what came just a few short weeks after these photos were taken…
You see, Mike and Heather weren’t actually engaged during this photo shoot. Instead, I took “couple’s photos” for them to have for their Christmas cards and just so they could have some nice images of the two of them together. But little did any of us know that Mike had been planning their perfect engagement for MONTHS.
In December, Mike proposed to Heather outside of her mother’s home in Fort Worth, Texas, with lakeside views and both of their families anxiously (and knowingly!) awaiting their return from their short golden-hour stroll. Mike, the thoughtful and sentimental man that he is, presented Heather with a beautiful and completely unique ring which perfectly symbolized their relationship: the band is adorned with black pearl and wood from a French Polynesian breadfruit tree (read: it had to be shipped internationally and go through customs declarations just to GET to a jeweler in the US) and completed with the diamond Heather’s late father had given to her mother for their own engagement.
Not only that, but Mike hired a local Texas photographer to capture the entire thing and who actually wore a GHILLIE SUIT to remain conspicuously hidden while getting it all on film! (I will say that Mike lost some cool points for not flying me in for the occasion, but I’m honestly just so happy for the two of them that I might just let this one slide… :-D)
Regardless, you could say his hard work paid off with a giant and resounding “YES” from his bride to be! I am OVER THE MOON for these two wonderful, incredible, amazing people and friends <3
So! My final thoughts on Mike after spending a full weekend with him and Heather?
Kind. Sweet. Well-spoken. Engaging. Funny. I’d say a fantastic catch all around, and a man that – and I don’t say this lightly – may just be worthy of my phenomenal Heather <3.
CONGRATULATIONS you crazy kids! I can’t wait to celebrate your nuptials with you…whenever (and wherever!) they may be 😉